What’s in Anti-Viral Kleenex?

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Do all KLEENEX boxes come with federal warnings against misuse?

I hadn’t intended to leave Walgreens with any kind of virucidal paper product, but in a fit of summer cold snuffles I accidentally bought a box of polka-dotted germ fighters equipped with directions against wiping up spills and an active ingredients list.

Promises the KLEENEX Anti-Viral tissue box: “[The] tissue has three soft layers, including a moisture-activated middle layer that kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses in the tissue within 15 minutes.”

Wow! Would eating one cure a cold altogether?

Tragically, this goes unanswered on the KLEENEX website. But here’s my favorite question from the FAQ:

Do viruses have to hit the blue dots to be effective?

No. The virus is killed when it hits any part of the middle layer.

In case you’re wondering, the active ingredients—citric acid and sodium lauryl sulftate—are safe enough for government work. But Kimberly-Clark did have to get EPA clearance prior to marketing a facial tissue containing “pesticide” in 2004, according to a geektastic background article in the Wall Street Journal.

Has the proliferation of anti-viral products died down? I feel like I’m seeing less of them on the shelves overall these days. What about you, commenters?

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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